Impact of Prenatal Diagnosis on the Morbidity Associated With Ureterocele Management
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PURPOSE: We postulated that prenatal detection of ureteroceles has a positive impact on the natural history and clinical outcome of ureteroceles in duplex system. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 1992 and 2000, 95 children underwent surgery for a ureterocele in a duplex system. We evaluated the impact of prenatal diagnosis in 40 cases versus postnatal diagnosis in 55 on morbidity, as measured by postoperative urinary tract infection and secondary procedures, while controlling for ureterocele type and the initial surgical approach. RESULTS: Mean followup in the 2 groups was 3.9 years. Preoperatively the reflux rate was 51% in the prenatal and 66% in the postnatal groups. Preoperatively urinary tract infections were less common in the prenatal group (12% versus 84%). Mean age at initial intervention in prenatally and postnatally diagnosed patients was 6 and 31 months, respectively. Postoperatively the urinary tract infection rate was double in postnatally diagnosed patients. Overall postoperatively reflux was similar in the 2 groups and grades III to V reflux with urinary tract infection accounted for 14 of the 21 secondary bladder procedures (67%). After initial endoscopic decompression none of the prenatally diagnosed patients with intravesical ureteroceles required reoperation, whereas 6 (50%) with extravesical ureteroceles required reoperation. All 10 prenatally diagnosed extravesical ureteroceles treated with partial nephrectomy were cured. Overall the secondary procedure rate in the postnatal group was higher than in the prenatal group (46% versus 20%, p = 0.02). Also, there was a difference in the reoperation rate in the endoscopic decompression group according to mode of presentation (p = 0.03) and a difference when comparing endoscopic treatment with partial nephrectomy in all patients (p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal diagnosis decreases morbidity and potential adverse outcomes related to infection. Overall prenatal diagnosis is associated with a decreased rate of secondary procedures independent of the type of ureterocele. Prenatally diagnosed intravesical ureteroceles may be cured by endoscopic incision alone but for extravesical ureteroceles partial nephrectomy appears to be more definitive.
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